Between Heaven and Earth: Law, Power, and the Social Order in Late Antiquity
- International Late Antiquity Network (ILAN)
- Constantine’s Dream Project, University of Manchester
Talks at this conferenceAdd a talk
Our conception of Roman justice has changed dramatically over the last few decades. In the English-speaking world, there has been a decisive shift away from the constitutionally based paradigm, toward an idea of the administration of justice as a heuristic process through which Roman political elites sought, on an ad hoc basis, to rationalise and justify Roman power in the provinces.
The conference ‘Between Heaven and Earth: Law, Ideology, and the Social Order in Late Antiquity’ will assess the ‘state of play’ regarding the administration of Roman law from the Constitutio Antoniniana (212 CE) to the end of Antiquity. It is a period characterised by revolutionary changes. The extension of citizenship, the re-organization of provincial administration under Diocletian, and the changing ideological frame-work underpinning the emperor’s power each triggered significant developments. The conference will consider problems including, but not limited to the following:
- The changing balance of practice: arbitration, municipal, provincial, and episcopal courts
- Justice and the God(s): the changing ideological foundation of jurisdictio
- Deviance, Discipline, and Persecution: From superstitio to ‘heresy’
- Law and the social order: ius colonatus, patria potestas, marriage legislation
- Codes, canons, collationes: changing practices of collection and communication
The format of the meeting will not be based exclusively on lectures. Rather, we envisage a mix of formats for generating discussion and exchanging expertise, including:
- Primary source masterclass Contributors will pre-circulate key primary sources on a givien topic, and to lead or contribute to seminar-style discussion and/or evaluation of their significance
- Historiographic masterclass Contributors will pre-circulate key secondary sources on a givien topic, and will lead a seminar-style assessment and/or re-evaluation of their significance. The sources can either be ‘landmark’ publications or publications whose importance has been overlooked or misunderstood.
- First person retrospective Contributors will offer a powerpoint talk or a seminar-style discussion of pre-circulated material, or a combination): In this case you would offer an informal overview of one or more of your own previous publications (similar to the American Academy of Religion ‘How My Mind Has Changed’ series or the Torino Petersen seminars). Many scholars—and not only younger scholars!—will be intensely interested to hear ‘from the horse’s mouth’ what is really at stake in key publications. This is especially true for publications that are not in one’s own native language—sometimes a clearer understanding of the landscape or context of a scholar’s work changes one’s understanding dramatically.
- Overview retrospective involving a retrospective on a wider historiographical area
- Roundtable We welcome suggestions for plenary roundtables on key topics, along with suggestions of individuals who might contribute a five-minute ex verbal introduction of a pre-circulated handout.
- Lecture (in order to make the most of the opportunity to exchange a deadline of 1 September is set for submission of lecture handouts. This will allow them to be pre-circulated to other conference participants at the same time as the ask to please plan to pre-circulate your hand
Please do not hesitate to get in touch with questions or suggestions! These should be addressed to Kate Cooper (email@example.com) in the first instance.
Who is attending?
No one has said they will attend yet.
Will you attend this event?